There are many adjustments one needs to do while playing a PLO tournament as compared to a cash game. Poker players can follow the following strategies and tips for excelling in PLO tourneys :
1.Follow a TAG Approach
Beginners should strictly follow a TAG approach while playing PLO ( Pot Limit Omaha) tourneys.
Tag style includes entering the pot with premium hands in position and applying maximum pressure to your opponents post flop. On an average maintaining a VPIP (Voluntarily Put money in the Pot) in the range of 25-35 is optimal for tournaments. So, make sure you as a beginner follow this strategy.
2.Avoid Bloating Pot Pre-Flop
The equities in PLO run much closer than in Hold’em games, so it is wise to play post flop as much as possible especially in deep stack tournaments. Do not get carried away with premium hands and avoid too much 3-4 betting, especially out of position with marginal hands. The trick for becoming a winning PLO player is to actually understand the opponent ranges and play accordingly post flop.
3.Balance Your Bet Sizing
Bluffing is a skill but balancing is an art, which players especially beginners need to learn. Although balancing is an advanced strategy, but it is very important to balance bet sizings. Beginners end up betting the pot every time they have nuts and hence they miss on a lot of value, as it becomes easy for an observant opponent to figure out the hand strength. As a general rule pre-flop raise, bet size should be 2.5x-3.5x from all positions and post flop it will depend on the flop texture and opponent range. Limping can also be used as a strategy, but it too needs to be balanced, according to hand strength and position. Avoid 3 betting with Aces pre-flop, if you cannot build a 3 betting range.
4.Learn Importance of Blockers in PLO.
This is an advanced strategy for PLO. Blockers should be played in the same way as nuts to extract maximum value and maintain balance. However, it is recommended to avoid using this strategy against a very loose field and just stick to value betting. This will help you to use your blockers properly.
5.Manage Your Bankroll Properly
Proper bankroll management is one of the most important skills to master in PLO. Different bankroll is needed as you move higher up the stakes, as the game gets tougher which means higher variance. For low stakes, 50 buy-ins is good enough but it is always better to have a bankroll on the higher side.
Stop loss strategy should be strictly followed to avoid tilt or bad form in this variant of poker. It is easy to get carried away by bad beats in PLO games as equities run much closer as compared to Hold’em.
6.Improve & Follow Proper Learning Curve
Players making a transition from Hold’em to PLO need to follow a proper learning curve. Start with basics before starting to grind. Some resources which are available for everyone to use are Youtube channels like “donkplay” and “ploquickpro” and books by jeff hwang and tri nguyen. After the basic understanding, grind low stakes and figure out your leaks by taking help of a coach or software like leakfinder in pt4. Tools like pokerjuice and omaha wizard are excellent for post-session analysis.
And as I always say, “poker like any other sport is very competitive and hence it is utmost important to keep learning and developing new strategies to adjust to the competition in the game. So, study hard and continue improving your learning curve. Good luck and happy grinding ahead!